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August 2012

Talent, and White Noise, Testing Your Core

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah ThortonworldI just finished reading the book Seven Days in the Art World. It is a real eye opener! Both depressing and shocking, I would recommend reading this book if you can stand being confronted with the inequity and inequality of the art world vs. craft world.

I think it is important to view another perspective, but it is very challenging to your core. It's like standing on one leg while lifting weights. If you can survive the set, your balance will be stronger, but it takes practice.(I have more to say, but it will be another post.)

Here are two of my favorite quotes from this book which apply to everyone.

Paul Schimmel, chief curator of the Musuem of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (or MOCA), discusses the concept of talent and what makes a good artist:


"Talent is a double-edged sword. What you are given is not really yours. What you work at, what you struggle for, what you have to take command of -- that often makes for very good art.” Seven Days in the Art World, Chapter title: The CRIT, page 72

The next quote was about writing art critiscm but I think it applies to any creative endevor. It is from the New York times critic Roberta Smith:

“When you are writing, you have a lot of white noise. Doubt is a central part of intelligence, and doubt is hard to control. What I do is I write first and question myself later. After my deadline, I have a little whimper session: I feel bad about something; it could have been better; certain people are going to hate me the next day.” Seven Days in the Art World, Chapter The Magazine, page 172

As a maker it is so hard to shut down the "white noise" and doubt, and yet, it is absolutely to put your blinders on and go forward.

More discussion follows soon.
Harriete

Below is a short video from the author Sarah Thorton talking about the seven chapters of her book.



Full disclosure: Images and links for this book are affiliate links. I love my local library and did not buy the book, but instead paid for inter-library loan.

To Give or To Get, Cost, Reward, Opportunity

I'm kind of in a funk deciding what to make next and been listening to a lot of negative voices inside my head and from other people. Why do I do this? Why do I try so hard? Why do I care so much? Accusations that I put too much work into my volunteer efforts?

The toolsI'm  reading the book The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity And a paragraph jumped out at me tonight. It resonates with so many comments that I have been hearing recently.

"We've lost the universal language of the heart, and with it, any sense of an all-inclusive human community. We've lost the sense that we're on the same team and that we have a duty to something higher than ourselves. Public officials no longer feel bound to place the public interest over their own....Our public discourse has degenerated into a no-holds-barred attack zone, where nothing is off-limits-whether it's an opponent's patriotism, appearance or private live."*

This paragraph recalls the current political discourse...but actually my mind goes to something more personnal. My community. When I say community, I mean my neighborhood, the local Metal Arts Guild, SNAG, and the larger arts community. These communities to which I devote a tremendous amounts of time. Much to my dismay I hear that people don't join because I don't get anything out of it. They don't volunteer, they don't pay their membership dues, they won't bend over and pick up a weed, sweep the street. It is always someone else's job.

It isn't what you get out of it....it is what you have to contribute. Until that realization becomes a core understanding, one will never think they get enough out of it. But, if you give your time, your ideas, energy or good will, then actually, you will get something out of it. What you give will be returned to you many times over.

"As a society, we tend to associate influence with important people in positions of power." "This assumption is understandable---but it's a costly mistake. It means we ignore the ordinary, prosaic opportunities to encourage, connect with, and inspire one another. You can use Inner Authority to become a positive force for the people around you..."**

Listen to the authors  of the book The TOOLS on Charlie Rose. This is why I decided to read the book.

Harriete
The Tools

*The Tools by  Phil Stutz & Barry Michels on page 125.

**The Tools by  Phil Stutz & Barry Michels on page 125.

Affiliate link includes image and title.


Dimensional Weight As A Shipping Factor

At one time, shipping prices were determined solely by the weight of the box. A heavy box costs more to ship than a light box. Sure that makes sense.

But a few years back all the shipping companies added another factor - the size of the box. There was a realization that a large box uses more space in a truck or plane. Thus, a new factor was added to calculate shipping prices called "dimensional weight."

Dimensional-Weight-Arrows

Now all the shipping companies consider the dimensions of the box in the shipping calculations.
If you go to FedEx or USPS they take out their measuring tapes to find the length, width and depth of the box. This is put into their computer along with the actual weight. The shipping calculation will take the heavier of the two, either the actual weight or the dimensional weight.

To save time, Kim Cridler recommends writing the dimensions of the shipping boxes on the outside of the box.

The dimensional weight is a shipping factor that you can not avoid, but it is something to consider when you double box your artwork for shipping. A one inch to two inch margin between the interior and exterior shipping box is important to protect most artwork.   So unless you have something unusual, any larger sized outer box may be costing you more money for shipping.

Harriete

Shipping Large Sculpture by Kim Cridler


View additional presentations posted by
Harriete Estel Berman

Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price For EXHIBITION CONTRACTS

Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price for exhibitions are sometimes confused usually because of inexperience and good intentions, but with negative consequences and hard feelings if an insurance claim becomes necessary.

This is why a recommendation will be made here.

ALWAYS CLEARLY WRITE DOWN on the exhibition contract:
   the INSURANCE VALUE; and
   the WHOLESALE PRICE; and
   the RETAIL PRICE.

CONDITIONreportI also write this on the Professional Guidelines Condition Report when I send my work to an exhibition.

Defining each term on the contract by a dollar value avoids confusion.





Here is an example:
RETAIL PRICE:            $ 3,000
WHOLESALE PRICE: 
$ 1,500
INSURANCE VALUE:   $  1,500

NEVER use the term "ARTIST PRICE" on a contract or in discussion. The term "Artist Price" has too many definitions to be a reliable term. Interpretations of an "artist's price" range from a special discounted price of wholesale to a special retail price.

ALWAYS LIST THE RETAIL PRICE even if the exhibition sponsor does not have a space for it on the loan form. Write in the Retail Price yourself, if necessary, between the lines or in the margin.

If art or craft is borrowed from a collector that paid retail, then there is no wholesale price and the insurance value is the retail price.
RETAIL PRICE:            $ 3,000
INSURANCE VALUE:   $ 3,000

Keep this as clear and straight forward if you can.

Recently I was in an exhibition at an established museum. An inexperienced intern was in charge of the exhibition paperwork (a cost cutting measure that had huge consequences). The loan form from the the museum only had a place to write the "insurance value". The artists wrote in the insurance value as the wholesale price. That is correct, but the museum then sold the artwork at those wholesale values instead of the retail prices. What a mess!  

This confusion didn't happen with my work because I wrote down both the retail price and wholesale price, but I do know that at least one artist had her work sold at wholesale! The artist lost the potential of establishing a new "higher retail price" for her work and the museum expected to pay the artist half the wholesale price. Bad news! The museum fixed the mistake at their loss. What a shame! A huge opportunity cost for everyone involved.

Avoid confusion. Always list the retail price, wholesale price and insurance value on your contract and  Condition Report.

Harriete

Previous posts about Insurance Value, Wholesale Price & Retail Price:

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money defines the terms.

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price for $HIPPING clarifies which value to use during shipping.


In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price for $HIPPING

When shipping your art or craft, save money by understanding whether to use the wholesale price or retail price for shipping insurance. It doesn't matter how much shipping insurance you purchased for shipping -- your documentation for the value of the shipped item is the critical issue.

Here is an excerpt for the Q & A from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar. I describe the scenario briefly. (P.S. This is the first time for me to insert an audio file MP3 in a post. If it doesn't work for you let me know.)

InsuranceforSHIPPING

Audience
When sending work to a store/gallery or exhibition sponsor, insure the art or craft at the wholesale price.
This is all you will receive if the work is sold. This is all the insurance company will pay you (the artist) if the work is lost or damaged during shipping. You must be able to prove that you have received this wholesale price for the same or similar work.

However, if the art or craft has already been sold at the retail price (and you have a receipt to prove it), then insure the art or craft for the retail price during shipping. The invoice for the purchase price will be adequate documentation for the insurance company that you expected to receive this amount.

Insuring for a higher or lower amount than the actual value may be considered fraud. So honesty is the best policy. Insure for the accurate value given each circumstance.

Sometimes when shipping art or craft, the insurance is provided by the exhibition sponsor. In this case, the insurance value is either A) the wholesale price if still owned by the artist, or B) the retail value if owned by a collector.  A collector can show a purchase receipt to prove value.  As an artist, a successful insurance claim depends on being able to prove that you have sold similar work for similar amounts to the insurance value. The insurance company will expect documentation such as:

  • invoices for purchase;
  • copies of past checks for similar or identical work; or
  • appraisals from qualified persons to establish value. 

 Harriete

Posts about Insurance Value, Wholesale Price & Retail Price:

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money defines the terms.

Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price For EXHIBITION CONTRACTS 

SHIPPING2012WHITEsquare500H
The SNAG  Professional Development Seminar presented three hours of shipping information for artists and makers. We covered shipping jewelry from precious metals to large sculpture, making a custom made shipping box to international shipping. And more!

There are nine presentations and handouts with information about shipping.

All of the PowerPoint presentations with audio and handouts from the SNAG 2012 PDS are available on line at two locations:
SNAG Professional Development Seminar
Or the Professional Development Seminar page on my web site.

Additional information about shipping can be found on ASK Harriete

Ask me which presentation is the best for your interest or media.

IMG_8847
11 boxes in my living room ready to ship to Alaska.
2 boxes ready to ship to Los Angeles, CA.
Last week was a busy week!

 

 


<p>Previous posts about Insurance Value, Wholesale Price &amp; Retail Price:</p>
<h3><a title="Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price For EXHIBITION CONTRACTS"
<h3><a title="Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price - Understand the Money " href="http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2012/08/insurance-value-wholesale-price-retail-price-undertand-the-money.html" target="_blank">In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money</a> defines the terms.</h3>
<h3><a title="Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price for Shipping" href="http://askharriete.typepad.com/ask_harriete/2012/08/insurance-value-wholesale-price-retail-price-for-shipping.html" target="_blank">In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price for $HIPPING</a></h3>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money

What's the difference between Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, and Retail Price? Confusion is common, but it is important to understand the differences before shipping your work to an exhibition or elsewhere.  The consequences can be substantial -- we are possibly talking tears, frustration, embarrassment and real money.

You would not believe the stories I have heard from others and experienced myself.

Today's post provides the definition of each term. The next two posts will discuss in more depth some examples of deciding shipping insurance and confusion at exhibitions. Misunderstandings will likely cost you money and potential embarrassment.

Here are the definitions:

The RETAIL PRICE is what the gallery/store/exhibition sponsor lists as the purchase price in the catalog or on the “price list.” (We are ignoring "discounts" off retail in this post.)

The WHOLESALE PRICE is what the artist actually expects to receive as payment. This is sometimes called the “artist price”, but I'd recommend never use the term "artist price" because it may imply different things to different people.

If a gallery, exhibition sponsor or collector uses the term "artist price", I strongly recommend that you ask them to clarify what they mean. Sometimes a person uses the term "artist price" as some kind of special discounted price off retail or wholesale. Beware . . . you would not believe the long sad tales I have heard. Don't use the term "artist price".  

The INSURANCE VALUE may also be a confusing term. Most artists, galleries, and exhibition sponsors usually equate the insurance value as the wholesale price. Most insurance companies will only pay the artist the wholesale price if the work is lost, damaged or stolen during shipping or at an exhibition because this is what the artist would receive if the work was sold.

Insurance value steps up to the retail price as soon as the artwork is sold at retail. The invoice for purchase will be the documentation an insurance provider wants to see to establish the insurance value at the retail price.

This is true regardless of who sold the artwork at retail (whether an artist or gallery/store/exhibition sponsor). Insurance value will be full retail when the work is sold at retail.

The insurance value for a collector is either the purchase price or current market value in the marketplace. If the retail price of an artist's work has increased over the years, a collector may want to periodically check to be sure their insurance policy covers the current market value of the work in their collection. Some insurance companies may require an appraisal to establish insurance value. 

This is the beginning of the discussion. The next posts describe insurance value, wholesale price and retail price for shipping, and some real stories resulting from confusion with exhibitions.   These will be real stories, but I will try to keep it simple for clarity and to avoid revealing names of the innocent and the guilty.

Harriete
BermanConvU
Conversation U
from a series of 200 teacups titled "Consuming Conversation".

This is the image for a retrospective exhibition of my work at:

Kimura Gallery, University of Alaska Anchorage,
3211 PROVIDENCE DRIVE, ANCHORAGE, AK  99508

August 27, 2012 to September 28, 2012
Reception:  August 27, 2012, 5:30-8:00 PM

If you live in or near Anchorage, I hope you get to go. More information soon.


Dam# Damaged Boxes - Photograph or Video DAMAGES!

Damaged Boxes? Photograph with your camera, phone or videotape. 

Inside TRUCK with damaged boxes As soon as the truck arrives, be ready to start shooting photos. If the work turns out to be completely safe, you can delete the photos.

A couple of years ago, I was in this situation and noticed damage to my exterior shipping boxes before they were even removed from the truck.  Some were visibly damaged; others not.

Driveway 17 crush bottom of another box. Photograph every box as it comes off the truck. 

Inform the truck driver to make sure he notices the damaged boxes also. 

Be nice to the driver.  It's probably not his fault.


Driveway 16 crushed box Report damages to everyone you can think of including, but not limited to the shipping agent, shipping company and the exhibition/store/gallery staff. 

Wait........
Sometimes the shipping company wants to look at the boxes before you open them.

Sometimes they will  tell you to go ahead and open the boxes to see if the work is damaged.

Always be cautious and follow their instructions.

IMG_4416
If they allow you to open the boxes....keep the photographing each step to document the  packing
as you open the box.   Even if you paid for shipping insurance, you must prove that the packing was more than adequate to protect the artwork.

If the work is damaged in transit, you'll want to make a successful claim for damaged work. Your photographs or videos become the foundation of your claim. 

Stay tuned!
Last week I was on Jay Whaley Bench Talk on BlogTalkRadio in conversation with French Thompson as we offered an hour of
shipping tips.  Find out if you are packing and shipping your work effectively. Save money, time, and tears.

The Next post is about insurance value, wholesale value, and retail value.

Harriete


"People aren't used to women being so passionate." "It scares them."

I love this video. It as if I was speaking with my own voice. "When I was growing up girls just didn't run in public." So true.

\

"People aren't used to women being so passionate."
"It scares them."

Why are women so afraid of their own power?

I have loved watching the Olympics especially the women. Women who are strong, powerful, confident and work hard to achieve their goals. They put everything on the line time and time again.

Push Yourself Flower Pin by Harriete Estel Berman

Push Yourself Flower Pin                         $525

Harriete


It is surprising how many artists do not know how to pack their work for safety and security

SHIPPING2012WHITEsquare500H

Why does Leila Hamdan, artist and museum registrar say: "It is surprising how many artists do not know how to pack their work for safety and security." At the Museum, "it was always heartbreaking to open a package and see that their work had been damaged."

LISTEN to French Thompson & Harriete Estel Berman as we talk about shipping disasters, recommendations, and solutions on Jay Whaley Blog Talk Radio.

Originally recorded on THURSDAY, August 9th, 2012 the archived recording is online.

ASK Harriete posts about the shipping includes presentations, handouts and more from the SNAG 2012 Professional Development Seminar:


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

(tip sheet)

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers by Loring Taoka

Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftConditions Report  from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

Additional presentations about shipping for artists and makers are also available on the Professional Development Seminar page on my web site.

 


Tales of Woe & Blood Curdling Shipping

BlogtalkradioThe archived recording of a conversation about shipping with French Thompson  and Greg Berg can be found on  Jay Whaley Bench talk on BlogTalkRadio.

French will be telling tales of woe about shipping he witnessed when organizing a recent exhibition.

SCREAMINGHarrieteshipping BoxCrushedFRAGILE 

 

We will be talking about how to prevent common shipping problems.

We  offer shipping recommendations and practical recommendations.

Harriete


DOCUMENTATION for Shipping: An Easy Step by Step Guide

HarrieteBlueFaceDocumentation for shipping art and craft is essential and professional. I've talked myself blue in the face about this topic but others certainly echo the advice.

Several presentations about shipping from the SNAG Professional Development Seminar mentioned documentation as key for successful shipping and to be taken seriously as a professional.

Combining all of the advice this SlideShare presentation offers an easy, straightforward  step-by-step guide for:
Documentation for SHIPPING Art and Craft

Veiw more presentations from Harriete Estel Berman

Information mentioned in
Documentation for SHIPPING Art and Craft:

Condition Report PDF

Packing Tips Sheet from ASK Harriete  

Harriete

BlogtalkradioThe archived recording of a conversation about shipping with French Thompson  and Greg Berg can be found on  Jay Whaley Bench talk on BlogTalkRadio. We will be talking about how to prevent common shipping problems with practical tips and recommendations for artist and makers.



Exhibition Opportunities for Metalsmiths

Push Yourself Flower Pin by Harriete Estel Berman constructed from recycled tin cans.  Two opportunities for exhibiting work with online and gallery exhibitions are listed below.

But before you apply, . . .
You could improve your application by reading one document in the Professional Guidelines;
TOP TEN TIPS for Getting Into a Juried Exhibition, Show, Book or Magazine.

 

EXHIBITIONS: 

1) “Ferrous”- A Cooperative Exhibition between Velvet da Vinci Gallery (San Francisco) and Crafthaus (an online social network of artists and makers).

2)  "Holding Place: A Repository of Containers and Vessels"

MORE INFORMATION about both exhibitions below.

Harriete

************

Ferrous_logo_v2Ferrous -  Steel, iron and pig iron: materials used by mankind for thousands of years. The Chinese were already making pig iron by the late Zhou Dynasty (1122-256 BC) and the usage of iron (Berlin Iron) in jewelry has been well documented.

Velvet Da Vinci Gallery and Crafthaus are joining forces to create a new exhibition of jewelry that brings ferrous materials into the contemporary realm. We are looking for artists from all countries who create jewelry in ferrous materials (iron, steel, stainless steel and other iron alloys) or incorporate ferrous elements into their jewelry work.

There will be a catalog of the exhibition produced by Velvet Da Vinci with an essay by Jillian Moore. All participating artists will receive a complimentary copy. Additional copies can be purchased via the gallery.

Open to everyone. Crafthaus membership NOT required!! International entries are welcome.

Exhibition dates: March 6 - April 6, 2013

Simultaneous exhibition at Velvet da Vinci Gallery, San Francisco, CA and Crafthaus.
For more information about FERROUS go to to Crafthaus. 
Share this link with your friends: http://crafthaus.ning.com/group/ferrous

 

*************

Holding Place: A Repository of Containers and Vessels by Metalsmiths Around the World

Illy COFFEEPOT by Harriete Estel Berman.One of the axioms of mathematics is that the container must be greater than the contained. Prove us right!

Ganoksin is pleased to announce its third annual International Online Jewelry Exhibition. This year's theme will be "Holding Place: A Repository of Containers and Vessels by Metalsmiths Around the World".

The exhibition is open to all metalsmiths, professional and amateur, advanced and beginner, around the world. All metal containers and vessels are eligible for entry. Examples include, but are not limited to, pill boxes, vases, bowls, pitchers, lockets, prayer boxes and memento mori.

As this is an online exhibition the work will only be seen via the photographs metalmiths submit. It is therefore vital that these be in focus, on a neutral background (preferably not textured), and do an excellent job allowing the viewer to really see the piece and the workmanship involved. Any photographs not meeting exhibition standards will not be used, and the submitting metalsmith will be asked to re-submit the entry with a higher quality of photograph. Works will be juried by the curator and director.

 
The exhibition will be curated by Beth Wicker, Co-President of the North Carolina Society of Goldsmiths in the United States, and Adjunct Instructor at Northeastern Technical College in South Carolina. Director of the exhibition is Hanuman Aspler, founder of The Ganoksin Project, the world's largest internet jewelry site.

Entries are accepted from now until January 15, 2013

Details and entry information is available.
Share this link with your fellow makers:
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/vessels

Please contact Beth Wicker with any questions.

 


If SHIPPING GOES WRONG!!!!!!

Brigitte Martin tells tales of shipping woe. Work shipped to her gallery in Pittsburgh turned into a shipping disaster described in this presentation:

View additional presentation from Harriete Estel Berman
 

At first this seemed like a sad story with all the blame placed on the shipper. Is that what you thought?

After listening to this audio presentation several times it occurs to me that most of the problems with this crate could have been avoided with better shipping preparation. How? Read the post Great Crate Tips on ASK Harriete.

Harriete

 

Other ASK Harriete posts about shipping:


PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

(tip sheet)

Shipping Comparisons: Shipping Cost & Insurance with Common Carriers by Loring Taoka

Compare USPS to Fed Ex; Outrageous Difference

CONDITION Report from the Professional Guidelines for shipping art or craftConditions Report  from the Professional Guidelines

Claims for Damaged Work  from the Professional Guidelines

DAMN! Damaged boxes! Claims for Damaged Work.

Preservation, Conservation - Design for Repair

Many of these presentations were offered at the SNAG 2012 Professional Development Seminar about shipping. 

Additional presentations about shipping for artists and makers are also available on the Professional Development Seminar page on my web site.